Buddha Jayanti – Birthday of Lord Buddha

Buddha Jayanti, in Nepal is an auspicious day for Buddhists as well as Hindus. Buddha Jayanti is observed on the full moon day in Buddhist month of Baisakh.

On this day, people perform rites such as feeding the monks. People perform Daan (act of donating goods and necessities to the monks). Budhha chantings and Mantras are played across stupas and Vihars (place for monks to dwell). Buddha Jayanti not only signifies his birth but also his attainment of Nirvana (state beyond life and death) and the abandonment of physical body as it is believed that it all happened of full moon of Baisakh.

When is Buddha Jayanti celebrated?

Normally the day for the celebration of Buddha’s birthday differ from year to year in the Gregorian calendar, but usually falls in Month of April or May. In leap years it may be celebrated in June. According to the lunisolar calendar as in Nepali Calendar – Buddha Jayanti is celebrated on the month of Baishakh on full moon day i.e Purnima.

buddha jayanti gautam buddha

Life of Siddhartha Gautam

Buddha was born in Nepal as the prince of Kapilvastu, Siddhartha Gautam. According to folklore, immediately after Mayadevi gave birth, Siddhartha Gautam (now known as Gautam Budhha) took seven steps. Some believe that those steps represented he was the supreme of the world, while some believe it indicated his preachings would be known world wide.

Siddhartha Gautam was a kind and gentle prince. It is said that he wouldn’t even harm a being. Siddhartha married Yasodhara at the age of 19 and had a son, Rahul. Buddha led a prosperous life until the age of 29, when he set out to search for the end of sufferings.

Path to Enlightenment

While roaming through his city, Siddhartha Gautam faced sickness, old age and death. He saw a sick person, an elderly person and a corpse being carried away. This led him to realize that the life is full of sufferings. Thus, he left all his worldly pleasures behind and began his journey to find out the way to end the sufferings.

Siddhartha then started his life as a monk. He and his fellow monks learnt different meditation techniques rom Acharyas and Gurus. Back in those days, the monks believed that the end of suffering was to meditate under harsh environments without consuming food or having a drop of water and finally leave the world.However, Siddhartha Gautam believed that the harsh meditation was not a path to end the suffering, but the suffering itself. He believed that there was a middle path. This led his fellow monks to abandon him and also, banishment from his meditation group.

One day, when Siddhartha was meditating under a tree at Bodh Gaya, India, he obtained Bodhi (state of enlightenment, sometimes referred as Bodhitwa). The tree was, hence known as Bodhi tree. Buddha, then led his life teaching his disciples and followers about the path to be free of sufferings and misery.

Buddha’s Four Noble Truths

  • Life means suffering. Suffering is universal and none can escape it.
  • Origin of suffering is attachment.
  • The cessation of suffering is attainable.
  • The path to end suffering is Nirvana.

Buddha Mantra

बुद्धं शरणं गच्छामि।
धर्मं शरणं गच्छामि।
संघं शरणं गच्छामि।

Buddham Saranam Gachhami
Dhammam Saranam Gachhami
Sangham Saranam Gachhami

Buddham Saranam Gachhami
I go under the shelter of Buddha. Buddha is the guide and will guide us along the path.

Dhammam Saranam Gachhami
I go under the shelter of Dhamma. Dhamma is the path to follow.

Sangham Saranam Gachhami
I go under the shelter of Sangha. Sangha refers to teachers and companions along the path Without teachers and their preachings, it is impossible to attain enlightenment.

Buddha’s Five Guidelines

Buddha taught that the way to end suffering is to end the attachments. He sketched out basic guidelines to follow along the path of ending the sorrow and misery.
Do not harm or kill any living creatures.
Do not steal things or take anything which not yours.
Do not do any sexual misconduct.
Do not lie. Always speak truth.
Do not drink or eat anything which intoxicates your brain.

State of Nirvana

Buddha abandoned his physical embodiment at the age of 80 on the full moon of Baisakh (Baisakh Purnima). He attained Nirvana, a state beyond life and death. It is believed that even at the moment of he taught one of the disciples to lead a life without suffering or misery.

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